Tumalo Farms is a cheese producer from Bend, Oregon, founded by WebMD creator Flavio DeCastilhos. Why does that fact matter? It means Flavio had the dough to make every part of the operation tip top, and it shows in the cheeses, particularly the "Pondhopper." A farmstead goat cheese aged 2 to 3 months, it reminds me of some of the medium-firm, gentle tommes de chevre you get from the Loire Valley, perfect sliced thin over a salad, greens, beets or even a light pasta.
The addition of hops from the Deschutes brewery in the Pondhopper adds to a fresh springy fragrance up front, but it's the cheese's light sweetness that catches your attention. It's just so freakin' lovely. The Pondhopper prefers you to eat it at room temperature, in thin slices. Oh, and with an Oregon Pinot Gris or a Semillon-Sauv Blanc blend from our fair state.
All the Metropolitan Markets carry Tumalo Farms (call first about Ponhopper), and The Cheese Cellar off Denny carries the Pondhopper and another Tumalo cheese of the peppercorn variety. Tavolata also has been featuring Tumalo Farms' cheeses on the menu. Or order straight from the farm HERE.